LA Rams grab a burly linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 2.1
Partick Jones II, Pitt, EDGE
It’s as simple as this, the Rams are tight on cap space. They might not be able to afford both DB John Johnson III and OLB Leonard Floyd. The Rams have good depth at safety to mitigate Johnson’s loss but need more players on the edge to compensate for the possibility of Floyd departing. Edge rushers are important in the NFL and for that reason, Patrick Jones II is the Ram’s first pick in this mock draft.
Jones stands out while on TV and if I could describe him in two words it would be high-motor. Jones had strong production during his junior and senior seasons. Jones also led the nation in sacks for the first half of the 2020 season before having his production drop off.
It’s not just the fact that Jones is athletically gifted, but he also has developed a nice pass rush tree. He has three moves developed: the bull rush, the speed rush, and the spin. He can use one move to set up another and keep a tackle on their feet.
Jones plays smart. He keeps his eyes in the backfield seems to show a very high football IQ while on the field. If Jones beats his man quickly don’t expect him to take the quarterback down, expect him instead to go for the strip-sack. He can play contain very well versus a mobile quarterback.
He does however need some development on the edge to be a true outside linebacker. Jones primarily plays with a hand in the dirt and will need to learn to play in a two-point stance and drop into coverage.
However, he has shown some promise to learn how. Jones has blitzed from a 2 point stance from the inside so the learning curve shouldn’t be very shallow. However since he still plays more traditional and with his skill set, I have Jones’s comp player to be Jerry Hughes from the Buffalo Bills.